Coming off a doubleheader sweep earlier in the week, the Stony Brook softball team was handed three-straight losses by its Long Island rival.
The Seawolves (8-13, 0-6 CAA) hosted the Hofstra Pride in their home-opening three-game series at University Field. They were swept in a doubleheader on Saturday, losing 7-6 and 9-1. Stony Brook failed to salvage the series with a 4-1 loss on Sunday.
Game one did not see an ideal start for Stony Brook. After starting pitcher Mia Haynes allowed back-to-back three-spots, Stony Brook trailed 6-1 heading into the bottom of the third inning. Relief pitcher Ashton Melaas replaced Haynes with one out in the third inning and opened the door for her team to come back.
With Melaas holding down the fort in the circle, Stony Brook chipped away at Hofstra’s lead. Over the next two innings, a three-run homer by catcher Corinne Badger and a solo shot by right fielder Catherine Anne Kupinski got the Seawolves back within a run.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, second baseman Sofia Chambers slapped an RBI single the other way to tie the game at six apiece. Both Melaas and Hofstra reliever Julia Apsel pitched a scoreless seventh inning, sending the game into extra innings.
Neither team scored in the eighth inning. In the top of the ninth, a two-out error committed by shortstop Naiah Ackerman and a walk put the potential go-ahead run in scoring position. A single to right field by Hofstra catcher Becca Vaillancourt broke the tie and eventually won the game for her team.
Stony Brook had the tying and winning runs on base in its last turn at-bat, but first baseman Ashley Jacobson struck out to end the game.
Game two was much less exciting for Stony Brook. The Seawolves barely touched Hofstra starting pitcher Haley Venturini, who allowed only one run on two hits over six innings pitched. She struck out 10 hitters while walking only two, keeping Stony Brook’s bats at bay all day.
With the game tied 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning, Hofstra’s offense gave Venturini some run support by putting up a crooked number. Hofstra left fielder Kayla Wilson broke the tie with an RBI single, opening up a seven-run inning for the Pride. After three more hits and four more runs allowed, Haynes was pulled in favor of relief pitcher Maddie Male.
Male failed to limit the damage, allowing two more runs before finally getting the third out.
In an 8-1 hole, Stony Brook’s offense did not sniff redemption for the rest of the day. Hofstra added on one more run in the top of the seventh inning to cap off the doubleheader.
Head coach Megan Bryant was pleased with her team’s play in game one, but not so much in game two.
“We had a couple of chances to pull it out,” Bryant said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “I thought we had good energy. We played well, we fought hard. Not happy with game two, we didn’t show up.”
A new day hoped to bring better luck for the Seawolves on Sunday, but the cards were not stacked in their favor. They were shut down by Venturini again, who pitched a complete game and allowed only one run on five hits. She posted seven strikeouts and issued only one walk.
Hofstra struck first in the top of the third inning when first baseman Angelina Ioppolo hit a sacrifice fly to center field. Hofstra third baseman Alanna Morse tacked on two more to the Pride’s lead with a single in the top of the sixth inning. Vaillancourt tacked on an insurance run with an RBI single in the top of the seventh, giving Hofstra a 4-0 lead heading into the final frame.
Stony Brook showed some life in the final frame when Kupinski went yard for the second time in the weekend, but it was not enough to make up for the previous six scoreless innings.
Bryant was proud of the fight her team showed, but acknowledged that it would be better suited for earlier in the game.
“We like to think of ourselves as a resilient group,” Bryant said. “That was great that we had a push there at the end, but that push needs to happen earlier in the game.
Despite being swept, Stony Brook had several players give their team a chance to win. Chambers returned to the lineup after not playing since opening weekend and went 3-for-10 with a double and two RBIs. Center fielder Alicia Orosco went 4-for-11 with a hit-by-pitch, three stolen bases and a run scored. Kupinski went 4-for-9 with two home runs, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Notably, regular shortstop Kyra McFarland did not play in this series.
The Seawolves will look to bounce back on Wednesday when they host the St. John’s Red Storm. The first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. St. John’s is 9-13 on the season, coming off a dominant 9-0 run-rule win over Fordham.